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Trade Facilitation - Mexico

Trade Facilitation - Mexico

Information dated: 2017
Triangular Cooperation Project on Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness (AMEXCID - USAID)

Mexico will implement in Mesoamerica the project with the aim to conduct a series of training workshops jointly funded by the Mexican Agency for International Development Cooperation (AMEXCID) and the United States Agency for International Development (USAID). In these workshops, experts from different Mexican government agencies (mainly the Ministry of Economy and SAT) will share their knowledge and experience on issues related to the implementation of the Central American Trade Facilitation and Competitiveness Strategy, in turn contributing to the construction of the Mesoamerican agenda in this area.

The initiative is linked to the strategic lines of the North Triangle Alliance Prosperity Plan, in particular with the guidelines for revitalizing the productive sector to create economic opportunities, which include specific actions on coordinated border management and trade facilitation. The implementation of this cooperation project will enhance the priority actions of the Plan, especially those linked to economic development, from a regional perspective involving the countries of Mesoamerica.

As a result of the negotiations held since the beginning of last year between Mexico, USAID and the Central American Economic Integration Secretariat (SIECA) for the elaboration of the project, a schedule of activities was agreed, which will begin with the first workshop on the single window during March 2017in Guatemala.

Enabling Trade: Unlocking the Potential of Mexico and Vietnam (WEF Report)

This report, published in 2016, is the result of an initiative the Ministry of Economy undertook towards the implementation of the Trade Facilitation Agreement. The end-to-end value chain analysis proposed by the World Economic Forum has proved to be useful methodology, not only to identify trade barriers but also to highlight the importance of coordination among public-sector institutions. It is now evident that Mexico’s success in stimulating trade largely depends on harmonized efforts to overcome obstacles in some critical areas.

Besides, this report makes apparent that the implementation of the agreement requires committed participation by the private sector. Development and implementation of public policies in collaboration with the private sector have always been at the core of the ministry’s mission; this is particularly relevant for trade policies today, as only a holistic view will allow to target key strategic barriers and make substantial improvements.

Mexico’s government has made a strong commitment to boosting the country’s competitiveness in global trade, and the Ministry of Economy recognizes that trade facilitation is a key element in achieving this objective. The Ministry also recognizes that implementing the Bali Trade Facilitation Agreement of 2013 offers a unique opportunity to make Mexico a more attractive place for doing business.

National Service of Foreign Trade Information (SNICE)

In 2017 Mexico has established the National Service of Foreign Trade Information (SNICE), a unique information portal of the Government, which provides the information required by the user to participate in foreign trade, in an orderly, systematized and precise language.

The SNICE addressed the issues raised by businesses, particularly MSMEs on the complexity of accessing information on foreign trade dispersed in different portals, fragmented due to the lack of coordination of various government agencies, and hidden in many cases, thus generating costs for companies to have access to it through intermediaries.

SNICE provides an opportunity to consult the information without intermediaries. It, in an easy way, explains to the user how to import and export, meanwhile offering services and platforms that will accompany throughout the process. Thereby the portal facilitates and enhances participation in foreign trade. These services and tools will help the user to access to tariff and non-tariff regulations and restrictions, and to the merchandise statistics on international trade from and towards Mexico.

At the same time, SNICE will guide the user from the beginning to the end of the process by making available a national system of foreign trade consultations (CONSULTAMEX) through which he will be able to interact with the government agencies with competence in the matter.

The implementation of SNICE will result in greater certainty and impact in reducing time and costs to companies; this will encourage their access to foreign trade.

Activities carried out during 2015

Bilateral relations

  • The Mexican Customs Administration and the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP), jointly with the US Department of Homeland Security and the US Agency for International Development, offered a Workshop on Interdiction in International Borders, held from March 23 to 27, for 16 officials of Customs Administrations from El Salvador, Guatemala and Nicaragua.

  • Within the framework of the Multilateral Convention on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Customs Administrations of Latin America, Spain and Portugal (COMALEP), the Mexican Customs Administration provided technical assistance for 2 officials of the Bolivian Customs Office on Non-Intrusive Inspection Equipment, from June 23 to 25.

  • Under the Agreement between Mexico and Chile on Cooperation, Mutual Assistance and Exchange of Information on Customs Matters, Mexico offered technical assistance for 3 officials of the Chilean Customs Office, from September 21 to 24, on ozone-depleting substances as well as banned substances at international level (Montreal Protocol) with the aim of strengthening customs’ control strategy.

  • During 2015, the Mexican Customs Administration jointly with the US Office of Export Control Cooperation, under the Export Control and Related Border Security (EXBS) Program conducted 11 training courses for 33 Mexican officials to increase their capacity to prevent illicit trafficking in chemical, biological and nuclear weapons, and related materials.

  • The French Customs Office offered a General Training Course of Customs Inspectors of France to 2 officials of the Mexican Customs Administration, from September 2015 to June 2016. This course covered topics such as customs operations of the French and European Union’s Customs and their relationships with other government agencies and international organizations in international trade matters. This training is provided by the Customs National School of France and had the financial support (16,400 Euros) of the Mexican Tax Administration Service.

Capacity Building

  • During 2015, 34 officials of the Mexican Customs Administration were capacitated through workshops, seminars, meetings, and virtual courses offered by different international organizations (World Customs Organization, Inter-American Development Bank, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, International Civil Aviation Organization and the Japan International Cooperation Agency), in topics such as Harmonized System, Intellectual Property Rights, Customs Transfer Prices and Customs Valuation, Information technology, Strategic Goods, Application of the law, Coordinated Border Management, Authorized Economic Operator, Strategic Planning and Customs Management, Single Window, among others. Also, 2 Mexican officials accredited the First Phase as experts to the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Harmonized System and Customs Modernization / Trade Facilitation.

  • From September 22th to the 25th a Regional Workshop for the Pacific Alliance on AEO was carried out in Mexico, in coordination with the Inter-American Development Bank. Customs officials from Peru, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, Canada and the United States attended the event sharing best practices on AEO.

  • Topics covered in the workshop included the presentation of the AEO Programs of Pacific Alliance Members and Observers, concealment methods and strategies for container inspections.

  • Mexico´s Tax Administration Service organized a 4th seminar on AEO in November 2015 in the city of Monterrey, Nuevo Leon.

  • The event took place with the participation of AEO experts from Canada, Mexico and the United States as well as representatives from the private sector. The Seminar focused on AEO benefits, certification requirements and challenges. Among the topics addressed at the seminar were: benefits for certified companies during clearance of goods, certifications and management systems, AEO benefits and international cooperation. Authorized Economic Operator (AEO) training workshop for the Pacific Alliance.

Cooperation with International Organizations

  • The International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) invited Mexico to participate in the Regional Training Workshop for the Identification of Goods, Dual-Use Goods and Weapons of Mass Destruction held from July 5 to 12, as an expert to share our experience on identifying dual use goods, as well as to exchange best practices.

  • The Mexican Customs Administration, as Vice-President of the Americas and the Caribbean Region of the World Customs Organization (WCO), organized a "Workshop on Non-Intrusive Inspection”, held from 7 to 11 December, where 19 officials from Belize, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Panama received technical assistance on non-intrusive inspection.

Activities carried out during 2016

Bilateral relations

  • In the framework of the Merida Initiative, during 2016, the Mexican Customs received 6 million 666 thousand dollars in donations for the strengthening and modernization of the Customs. It was managed the importation of 3 mobile equipment for cargo inspection, 5 mobile equipment for passenger luggage inspection and 8 meters of radiation.

  • Also, under the Memorandum of Understanding between the Tax Administration Service and the US Department of State, Mexico worked closely in 2016 with that country to prevent the proliferation of nuclear, biological and chemical weapons and illicit trafficking in chemical, radiological and biological materials and other controlled strategic materials.

  • During 2016, the Mexican Custom Administration jointly with the US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) capacitated 150 officials of the Mexican Customs Administration to identify firearms and explosives

  • In April 2016, within the framework of the Technical and Scientific Cooperation Program between Mexico and Bolivia (2015-2017) and with financial support of AMEXCID, the Mexican Customs provided technical assistance for 4 officials of the Bolivian Customs Administration on international trade by sea, as well as on specialization in merceological analysis and techniques in instrumental analytics.

  • In August 2016, the Ministry of Finance and Public Credit of Mexico and the Department of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development of Canada signed the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation to prevent illicit trafficking of materials and equipment that may contribute to the Proliferation of Weapons of Mass Destruction in Mexican Customs. This Memorandum will allow Mexican Customs Administration be benefited from the donation of specialized equipment of non-intrusive inspection, technical support and training (valued at 9 million Canadian dollars), which will strengthen security in the south of the country by preventing illicit trafficking in nuclear and radioactive material.

  • The US Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) under its “International Small Arms Trafficking program” provided a course, from August 22 to September 16, to different Mexican authorities (federal and local government) on the identification of the different types of weapons with a greater incidence in traffic between the United States and Mexico, as well as their nomenclature.

  • In September, Mexican Customs Administration provided technical assistance on Non-Intrusive Inspection for 8 officials of the Guatemalan Customs Administration.

  • With the financial support of AMEXCID, the Mexican Customs Administration integrated 3 officials of the Guatemalan Customs Administration into its "Foreign Trade Officers Training Program” from October 3 to December 16, which provides knowledge and necessary skills for the development of functions in this field.

  • The Delegation of the European Union in Mexico offered a "Regional Seminar on Intellectual Property (Border Measures)" from November 30 to December 3, with the objective of presenting the procedure and follow-up of the Intellectual Property’s controls and strengthen the risk analysis capabilities through the information contained in the transport documents of the goods. Participated 52 officials from Costa Rica, Belize, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama and Mexico (24 officials of the Mexican Customs Administration and 3 of the Mexican Institute of Industrial Property).

  • Also, in December, it was provided technical assistance on strengthening the Single Window for trade and business facilitation for 9 officials from Trinidad and Tobago.

Capacity Building

  • In the area of capacity building, 24 courses were conducted on dual-use goods identification themes and non-proliferation weapons of mass destruction, training more than 220 officials from the Mexican Customs.

  • In the framework of the Merida Initiative, 12 courses were carried out on border and port security, risk analysis, and canine trainers, training more than 180 officials of the Mexican Customs Administration.

  • 76 officials from the Mexican Customs were capacitated through workshops, seminars, meetings, and virtual courses offered by different international organizations (World Customs Organization, Inter-American Development Bank, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation, International Civil Aviation Organization and the Japan International Cooperation Agency), in topics such as: Single Window, Authorized Economic Operator, Prevention and Combat of Money Laundering, Customs Management and Leadership, Coordinated Border Management, Strategic Customs Planning, Post-Clearance Audit, Harmonized System, and Tariff Management. In addition, 3 officials were accredited as experts / advisers to the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Harmonized System and Customs Modernization / Trade Facilitation.

Cooperation with International Organizations

  • Mexico participated in the 15th International Conference on Export Controls, whose main objective was discussing on the latest advances in international control strategies to exports around the world.

  • The Mexican Customs Administration was appointed coordinator within the framework of the Regional Strategic Plan of the World Customs Organization (WCO), with the aim of implementing the Sub-objective 1.3 to promote relationships with the private sector for the simplification and harmonization of procedures in border management. Also, is in charge of the Sub-objective 3.2, which seeks to implement programs to strengthen capacities and reduce skills gaps in customs officials.

  • 22 studies of different international organizations (World Customs Organization, Inter-American Development Bank, Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation and Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development), were carried out with the purpose of evaluating the Mexican Customs on topics such as: Transit, Mineral Resources, Passenger Name Record, Data Model, Electronic Commerce, Authorized Economic Operator and the implementation of the Agreement on Trade Facilitation.

  • The International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) organized its 5th Workshop on Combating Nuclear Material Smuggling, from February 8 to 10 to different Mexican government authorities as well as authorities from Honduras, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Panama. The Workshop covered topics on smuggling and illicit trafficking in radioactive and nuclear materials (requirements, safety measures, detection types and technology, protocols of action and research).

  • The Mexican Customs Administration, as Vice-President of the Americas and the Caribbean Region of the World Customs Organization (WCO), organized jointly with the WCO and its Regional Capacity Building Office a "Workshop on Risk Management", held from 7 to 11 March. In this Workshop 17 officials from Argentina, Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Curaçao, Ecuador, El Salvador, Jamaica, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay were trained.

  • In the framework of the Border and Irregular Migration Action Plan, the Inter-American Committee against Terrorism of the Organization of American States (OAS) held in November a workshop on "Border Control and Irregular Migration" for 50 Mexican officials (Customs, Migration and Federal Police) and for Guatemalan Officials (Customs Intendance).

  • The Tax Administration Service in coordination with the World Customs Organization (WCO) organized the 3rd Global AEO Conference held in Cancun Mexico, from May 11th to 13th. The Conference main objective was to enhance cooperation and partnership between Customs Authorities, private sector, and other key stakeholders fostering global public-private dialogue. Over 1000 people from 80 countries attended the event including the participation of Senior International Logistics, Trade Compliance and Supply-Chain Managers, Corporate and Trade Organization Executives, Supply-Chain IT Providers, Legal Advisors, Academics and Economists, among others. As a result of the event participants were able to evaluate the challenges and opportunities of AEO programs in order to facilitate international trade and consolidate the security of logistics supply chain, they were able to share experiences and best practices that contribute to the development, implementation and efficiency of these programs.

Activities carried out during 2017

Bilateral Relations

  • In February 2017, Mexican Customs Administration provided technical assistance on Polygraph testing for 4 officials of the Bolivian Customs Administration.

  • Within the framework of the Multilateral Convention on Cooperation and Mutual Assistance between Customs Administrations of Latin America, Spain and Portugal (COMALEP by its Spanish acronym), the Mexican Customs Administration provided technical assistance for 6 officials of the Paraguayan Customs Administration on Single Window and digital systems from February 13 to 15.

Cooperation with International Organizations

  • In line with the work carried out in 2016 under the framework of the Regional Strategic Plan of the World Customs Organization (WCO), for the Sub-Objective 1.3, it is conducting a diagnostic to identify the Customs procedures that put obstacles to the private sector on border customs procedures; the results of the consultations will be presented in the second quarter of 2017. On the other hand, for the Sub-objective 3.2, Mexico is working with Uruguay to propose 5 key customs positions in order to identify the gaps in these key posts and to implement training programs in order to strengthen them.

Capacity Building

  • To date, 3 officials has received training offered by the World Customs Organization (WCO) in Transit matters, Security in the Supply Chain and Authorized Economic Operator. In addition, 1 official provided technical assistance, as Co-facilitator in a workshop on modernization of customs laboratories, standardization of procedures and techniques for the chemical analysis of goods.